Today, the Rays brought back a familiar face in Kevin Jepsen, who was in the Rays’ bullpen for the first half of last season, where he dominated. Jepsen made $5.3 mil in arbitration money this offseason, but has not been worth it. The Twins’ whole season has been a disaster and so has Jepsen’s.
The Rays will only have to pay $222 K for the rest of the season, which is cheap to take a gamble on. Jepsen will certainly not make $5.3 mil in the seasons to come, as he has pitched poorly this season. He has posted a 6.16 ERA in 30.2 innings pitched. In those 33 games, the 31-year-old reliever has struck out 22 batters and walked 12. As bad as he has been, only 12 walks is impressive. His problem this year has been the ability to make hitters miss and that the hitters are smoking the ball across the entire field by making hard contact at 38.4 percent with a line-drive rate of 28.3 percent. He does have a ground-ball rate just a tad over 30 percent, which is good, as he gets ground outs and strikes out batters at a decent rate.
The Rays traded Jepsen last year for two prospects, one of which just pitched in the Futures game. That pitcher is Chih-Wei Hu, who is one of the Rays top pitching prospects. The Rays won this trade, as Hu is a young pitcher and that Jepsen returned to the Rays in a short time span after being traded last year.
Marc Topkin reported the signing first